Photoexcitation of the Blue Light Using FAD Photoreceptor AppA Results in Ultrafast Changes to the Protein Matrix

Andras Lukacs, Allison Haigney, Richard Brust, Rui-Kun Zhao, Allison L. Stelling, Ian P. Clark, Michael Towrie, Gregory M. Greetham, Stephen R. Meech, Peter J. Tonge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Photoexcitation of the flavin chromophore in the BLUF photosensor AppA results in a conformational change that leads to photosensor activation. This conformational change is mediated by a hydrogen-bonding network that surrounds the flavin, and photoexcitation is known to result in changes in the network that include a strengthening of hydrogen bonding to the flavin C4-O carbonyl group. Q63 is a key residue in the hydrogen-bonding network, and replacement of this residue with a glutamate results in a photoinactive mutant. While the ultrafast time-resolved infrared (TRIR) spectrum of Q63E AppABLUF is characterized by flavin carbonyl modes at 1680 and 1650 cm–1, which are similar in frequency to the analogous modes from the light activated state of the wild-type protein, a band is also observed in the TRIR spectrum at 1724 cm–1 that is unambiguously assigned to the Q63E carboxylic acid based on U-13C labeling of the protein. Light absorption instantaneously (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16893-16900
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number42
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2011

Cite this